In the film, an Angolan man illegally residing in Portugal hatches a plan with his girlfriend to marry a rich Portuguese woman and obtain a residence permit, but the result is not as expected.
Director Levis Albano, who is also an immigrant, spoke to Lusa about the film's premiere in Luanda and the theme he chose to reflect the hardships of migration.
He stressed: “When people leave their nests to live with others, they have to understand that things will never be the same again. It does not matter whether you are in Brazil, England, or the United States, immigration has its difficulties.” “I needed to let people know that living abroad is not what they think it is.”
The film is inspired by a real case, from which Levis Albano developed a “more general story”, to help people understand what immigration is like.
At a time when the Angolan community in Portugal is witnessing significant growth, as the number of Angolan citizens in this country has increased by more than 50% over the past ten years, for Levis Albano, this country is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about immigration, given its “relationship.” Love” that makes Angolans “feel at home.”
“The Angolan community is growing in Portugal and I think this is a beautiful thing, and I also see that the Portuguese community is growing again in Angola,” he said, stressing that immigration is necessary and that there are many jobs in which we find practically only immigrants.
“The planet is big and we should all live where we feel comfortable,” he said, “We are not here to take up someone’s space, we are here to contribute.”
Immigrants have also changed Portugal's view of Angolans. “I can mainly talk about culture, music and art that helps us, and football helps us. We actually have more Angolan players in Portugal, and more Portuguese listen to Angolan music and eat Angolan food.” The director also mentioned the inclusion of works of Angolan origin in the Portuguese vocabulary.
Regarding the story told by “The Immigrant,” in which the character Lucamba intends to secure his residence permit by marrying a Portuguese woman, Levis Albano explains that it is a common phenomenon in both countries. “This is not normal,” he noted, adding that obtaining visas remains very complex and difficult, even for those who do not want to immigrate, despite the introduction of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) method, a visa facilitation system for Comunidade dos countries. Países de Lingua Portuguesa.
He concluded by saying: “The doors are closed.”